How Dapchi 101 were freed – FG

The federal government on Wednesday explained how about 101 Dapchi school girls and one boy were in the early hours of Wednesday returned by their Boko Haram abductors after one month in captivity.

Minster of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and his Defence counterpart, Mansur Dan-Ali who briefed State House correspondents on the matter, said it followed an agreement reached with the insurgents.

Mohammed said the girls were released unconditionally and no ransom was paid.

He said: “The report we got was that one condition the insurgents gave was that they will be the ones to drop the girls and they dropped them in the early hours of this morning.”

On how it became that easy, the minister explained: “Like I said in the statement released to you early, once violence and confrontation were ruled out and negotiation started, there was a deliberate pause on the part of the military. In other words, it was agreed that there will be no force, there will be no confrontation, that was why it was possible for them to drop the girls.

“It was part of the agreement that they will release the girls there will be no violence nor confrontation. And don’t forget that the lives of this children are much more important to us than any cheap victory.”

Mohammed further said: “The girls were released unconditionally, no money changed hands. They only had one condition, that they will return them to where they picked them. So, in the early hours of today, they did return the girls and most of them went to their parent’s homes.

“As of now, I can confirm that 91 (now 101) girls and one boy have been released. The event is developing.

“Many of the girls that were released were not dropped in one place. Somewhere dropped on the road and they went back naturally to their parent’s Houses.

“They are now being asked to come and be documented at a centre and as at five minutes ago, I was told 91 girls and boy had been documented.”

On how come there was a boy among the girls released, he said: “I can tell you that is authentic. Whether they picked the boy or not, I can’t hazard any guess but don’t forget even in a girl school, which is a boarding school there will be parents, there are teachers who can have children amongst them. But what I have been told is that 91 girls and one boy have been documented. “

Mohammed also spoke on a federal government delegation that will depart for Dapchi and what they aim to achieve, saying: “Well, I think the issue of the delegation until we clear with relevant security authorities, is not something I can talk about right now. We are constantly talking to those on the ground. Don’t forget as of now that area has become an operational area and so we have to take advice from the security operatives on what to do.

“What is important is that we must be able to brief you regularly as regards development and we are constantly in touch with authorities in Dapchi.”

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